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"Pursuit" and "fursuit" are only one letter apart and I keep confusing them

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Have mercy my first language doesn't distinguish between p and f sounds

I have a fear that some corporate big-shots are going to be very confused down the line what they're supposed to do with fursuits

@InvaderXan yeah we used to have v and f sounds but lost them a few centuries back, now I think the former v sounds are mostly subsumed into w-like sounds and and f sounds have become p sounds. Japanese and Mandarin went on just fine with f sounds but we couldn't be bothered I guess 🤷‍♀️

@ljwrites Japanese conflates "h" and "f" pretty freely though, right? *vaguely recalls upper secondary studies* @InvaderXan

@ljwrites Regardless, language shift stuff is super interesting, I think! The big competing interests of being lazy when talking (making things sound more the same) and being lazy while listening (making things sound more distinct) lead to this wild dynamic in phoneme evolution. @InvaderXan

@pettter @ljwrites @InvaderXan Excuse me for jumping in. This is my research area: how phonemes are acquired and perceived for listening (though mainly English phonemes for Japanese learners).

Interestingly (perhaps) I can never perceive the difference between /p/ and /pʰ/ when talking about Korean.

@marcjones oh yes, there was a series of popular web writings years back where a Korean woman recounted how her USian husband couldn't distinguish between "ball" (kong) and "bean" (khong) in Korean. I imagine much the same confusion would exist with /p/ and /ph/. We may romanize ㄱ (/k/) and ㅂ (/p/) as g and b respectively, but in reality they're "between" /g/-/kh/ and /b/-/ph/, which would be confusing for native English speakers who haven't been trained to make distinctions that fine. Then again the distinction between /b/ and /p/ is kind of lost on Koreans too lol.

@ljwrites Ooh, interesting! My Japanese students who study Korean say they have far fewer problems listening to Korean than to English, which makes sense with the phonological similarities, but not with the extra 6 years of study they have with English.

@marcjones oh, the similarities don't end at phonetics--even our grammars are very similar, like for simpler sentences you could do a one-on-one replacement of elements and make a sentence in the other language.

We also mostly share a Chinese writing system, and though Koreans have drifted farther away from actually using hanja (Korean version of the Chinese writing system) in everyday life, 80% of our vocabulary is still based on hanja which overlaps for the most part with kanji so there's a lot of interoperability in how words are formed and even some actual vocabulary.

This even shows up in market forces: There are so many proficient Japanese speakers in Korea that Korean-Japanese translators get much lower rates than Korean-English translators, though I guess English being an imperialist language and there being more demand for it would also figure into that.

@ljwrites Ooh! Thanks a load. I knew a bit about the kanji, but the grammar I didn't. Thanks!

@pettter @InvaderXan I think so, I heard a funny story that someone's Japanese friend was singing the Korean anthem and was doing pretty well until they got to the refrain and pronounced "mugunghwa" (hibiscus, our national flower) as "mugungfa." Still impressive, though!

@pettter @ljwrites Yeah, like how the Japanese word for smartphone is "smaho".

@ljwrites
my wallet name starts with an F, and is commonly written with Ph.
So, of course I've see my name misspelled plenty of times. ><
"No, it's with an F... no, without the h"

@ljwrites
but I wasn't aware Korea lacks that distinction; good to know!

@FiXato What in God's name would the sound "Fh" be that they'd try to write it like that 😂 yeah we lost our f and v a while back, it doesn't look like they're coming home again 😔

@ljwrites
One letter that still throws me off at times while singing an alphabet in another alphabet is 'w'.
English: "double u"
Norwegian: "double v" (and the letter's use is mostly limited to loanwords, foreign words or old names)
French: also double v

Dutch: "wee" (pronounced similar to 'way')

@FiXato I'm going to give Dutch points here for convenience 🤔

@FiXato @ljwrites While languages like French and Spanish call Y "Greek I" so at least English makes that simpler with "why." :)

@bright_helpings
Besides the Y, #Dutch also has IJ ('lange IJ' (long i/y)), and EI ('korte ij' (short i/y)), and indeed also calls the Y a Greek i, or 'ypsilon'.
(Though fortunately the digraphs aren't considered part of the alphabet.)

So, I guess we lose the simplicity points we earned with the simple pronunciation of the letter W ;)

Example uses:
lijden (to suffer)
leiden (to lead)
yoghurtijs (yogurt ice-cream)

Though I can't think of a Dutch word where the 'y' actually sounds like the y in why; we just use ij and ei for that sound. Our y mostly sounds like in baby or yo.
@ljwrites

@ljwrites I strongly suspected that Old Chinese might have had "f" but was allophonic to "p" (mainstream idea seems to be no "f")

@ljwrites Classical Attic didn't have an f, so they might have confused them as well. That probably explains a lot.

@ljwrites They did distinguish between /p/ and /pʰ/ (the latter spelled φ), and gradually from ~6-9 centuries later the latter of those would see the p > f shift described elsewhere in this thread, leaving them /p/ and /f/ by 4th c CE and into modern Greek and also English derivatives. This is hilarious to me since modern English renders some /p/ as [pʰ] (notably in "pursuit", at least for me), even though we still insist that "ph" represents /f/.

@epilanthanomai ah yes, IPA's assumptions about what languages contain which phonetics can be... limited at catching these variations, I've read.

trans genitals and written english lol 

@ljwrites Orthography not phonology, but I'm one of many dyslexic trans women who keep accidentally misreading gridlock as girldick.

trans genitals and written english lol 

@epilanthanomai well as long as girldick is not caught in gridlock, now that would be bad 🤔

@ljwrites [also insert standard "purſuit of happineſs" jokes]

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